Halloween Costume Sketches

I sketched up three halloween costume ideas this week.  I’ll be completing this project by myself.

My first idea is to create a black cropped crewneck sleeveless top with an array of red, orange, yellow, and white LEDs in the shape of a flame.  I would be wearing this with khaki pants to complete the costume for a matchstick.


My hope is that I could make the LEDs glow in a pattern that evokes the burning of a flame.

Another idea I had was to dress up as a magic 8-ball.  There are various tutorials and code available online for a magic 8 ball, as shown in the video below

The LCD display shows a different “fortune” whenever there is a tilt sensor input, which I will embed in my costume so that it responds to my jumping.


For the garment itself, I’ll make it a crewneck, black shift dress with a zip closure on the center back.  This way, I can keep it relatively simple and even have a pattern for a dress I could remake without the circuit.

My favorite idea is to be a flasher!  The idea is to wear a nude full bodysuit underneath a trench coat that has flashing LEDs on the lining of the fabric.  People would ask me what I’m dressed as, and I would open my trench coat revealing a flashing interior and what will, for a split second, will look like my nude body.  I have a trench coat in the works already and I would like to attached a second lining layer with an embedded circuit for this project.

I currently have a trench coat that I have the pattern for.  I’ll cut out a second lining layer for the right and left front pieces and embed a circuit with an Adafruit GEMMA,  flora neopixels, and a photocell (to detect when the coat is open).  The idea is that I’ll program the neopixels to flash when the photo cell detects light.

One thought on “Halloween Costume Sketches”

  1. Fun ideas, Yuko! The first and last definitely would read better at a distance (parade) than the 8-ball (party). It looks like either way you are setting yourself up for a lot of individual NeoPixel soldering– let me warn you they can be tricky in large numbers! In addition to the Flora Pixels which are nice and flat, you may also consider the mini pixels, which have the solder pads on the back to further decrease the size: https://www.adafruit.com/product/1612 Downside of the individual board varieties is that they don’t come in RGBW. You could use RGBW NeoPixel jewels instead: https://www.adafruit.com/product/3047 or you could get RGBW strip and cut it apart: https://www.adafruit.com/product/2842, or better yet use APA201 DotStar all-white addressable strip, cut apart (three white LEDs inside instead of R, G, and B): https://www.adafruit.com/product/2433

    Gemma is a fine choice for a single sensor and strip of addressable LEDs. For the sensor, a photocell is a great place to start, but my concern is twofold: the lighting conditions will likely change, leading to potential unreliability, and your arms might get tired. Consider a switch tucked into the edge of the coat front, such that you grab it while “flashing.” That way you can trigger it multiple times if you want, without having to swing your arm to close the coat. https://www.adafruit.com/product/1092

    For power, you’ll likely need a beefy battery to go for several hours blasting those things at full brightness. Consider https://www.adafruit.com/product/328 or https://www.adafruit.com/product/1781 (plus charger https://www.adafruit.com/product/1304)

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